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Aquaponics is the symbiotic relationship between fish, beneficial bacteria, and plants. In an aquaponics system, water from an aquaculture system is fed to a hydroponic system where the by-products are broken down by nitrifying bacteria into nitrites then nitrates. After the nitrates are utilized by the plants, the clean water is recirculated back to the aquaculture system with virtually zero waste. By creating optimum environments for all three of these living ecosystems, we are creating an efficient ecosystem that we benefit from.
RAISING ONLY THE BEST FISH
Atlantic Salmon Life Stages
One | Incubation
We receive all fish as eggs and hatch them in our own hatching room. Our Atlantic salmon and Steelhead eggs come from Washington state.
TWO | Hatching
Approximately 30 days after arriving at our farm, the eggs begin to hatch. The small fish (a.k.a “fry”) live off their yolk sack for a few days before being moved into a larger tank.
Three | Fry
We move the fry into a small tank called the “first-feed” tank. It’s in this tank that the fish start swimming with the current and eating on their own. We have to feed train these fry in order for them to eat the food.
Four | Smolt
About 3 months after hatching, the fish are ready to begin their smoltification step. When Atlantic salmon lived in the wild, they would go from freshwater to saltwater. That process would cue the fish to become larger and stronger in order to compete for survival. Instead of transitioning to saltwater, we can cue this same step in our Atlantic salmon just by mimicking a winter. We do this by controlling the amount of light the fish receive, just like the sun rises and sets.
Five | Growout
One year after hatching, our salmon are ready to move into their final tank, where they will spend about one year. During this time, they will grow from about one pound to their harvest size of ten pounds.
SIX | HARVEST
24 months after arriving at our farm, our salmon have reached their harvest size of ten pounds. We humanely harvest each fish by hand, ensuring the best fillet quality.
Fish House Technology
First Class Facility
Superior Fresh is the first landlocked Atlantic salmon farm in the United States using recirculating aquaculture technologies. Our state-of-the-art hatching and growout systems allow us to bring in certified disease-free eggs and provide complete control of the life-cycle from hatch to harvest.
Optimal Swimming Speed
At each life state, rotational velocity of the water is specific to the size of the fish allowing the fish to swim continuously. When the fish receive proper exercise, their fillets are firmer and their feed conversion ratio is optimal.
The hydraulic retention time in our tanks is minimal in order to ensure that clean, fresh water is always encompassing our fish.
Our high-tech fish culture systems provide an optimal growing environment for our fish year-round. The monitoring systems in place ensure that water quality parameters are maintained at optimal levels at all times to raise the healthiest fish from egg to harvest. Our environmental controls provide the ideal growing environment for our Atlantic salmon and Steelhead through harvest.
We don’t dump production water into our precious steams and rivers. Instead, we irrigate leftover water to grow alfalfa for hay production. All “wastes” from our fish house and greenhouse are composted on-site, creating an incredible fertilizer for our organic garden and native prairies.
Feed Conversion Ratio
We obtain a feed conversion ratio (FCR) of 1.1:1. That means for every 1.1 pounds of food fed to our fish, 1 pound of fish is produced. In addition to fish production, that same 1.1 pounds of fish food produces up to 10 pounds of leafy greens.
Relieving Wild Fisheries
Our aquaculture process assures you that no fish escape from our facility through the use of physical barriers - preventing the co-mingling of farmed and wild fish.
Superior Fresh x FRESHWATER INSTITUTE
Wondering how we grow our fish on land? Let our partners at The Conservation Fund explain our RAS method. Superior Fresh is proud to call The Conservation Fund’s Freshwater Institute a partner!
Fish House Certifications
Best Aquaculture Practices
Our farming methods are certified to meet or exceed all standards of the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) and Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) programs
Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch recommends Atlantic salmon and Steelhead raised in recirculating systems are a “Best Choice” for consumers.
the freshest leafy greens
Head Lettuce Life Stages
One | Seeding
We seed new plants daily, with the seed types ranging from romaine to butterhead and everything in-between.
TWO | GERMINATION
Our seeds stay in our dark, high humidity germination room for a few days to allow the seed to sprout.
THREE | PROPAGATION
The seedlings are moved to our propagation room where they receive nutrient-rich water and LED lighting. During this time they develop their first few leaves and their roots emerge from the peat plug.
FOUR | NURSERY
Once the roots have emerged from the peat plug, the young plants are moved into the main greenhouse area and begin their journey from one end of the greenhouse to the other. During this time they are strictly floating atop the water, receiving all of their key nutrients from the water shared from the fish house.
FIVE | GROWOUT
After making one trip down the greenhouse, the adolescent plants are transplanted onto different rafts with more space for them to expand. Each plant is inspected for health, and then sent back down the length of the greenhouse.
SIX | Harvest
Once the plants reach the end of the greenhouse pool, each head is harvested by hand. Hand harvesting allows our coworkers to inspect each head individually to ensure quality.
SEVEN | Packing
Our lettuce is packed into various foodservice cases, immediately cooled, and then shipped out the next day.
Growing What You Need
Our cutting edge greenhouse is able to grow many varieties of head lettuces, baby greens, and herbs simultaneously.
Backing Up the Sun
We choose to let the sun be the primary provider of light to our plants. Our diffused glass roof is extremely efficient at allowing sunlight to hit our leaves while avoiding shadows. Our energy saving LED lights are only used in the winter months when the daylight hours in Wisconsin are too short to grow plants.
In order to keep ideal growing conditions, we utilize water treatment technologies to create the ideal ecosystem for both our plants and fish. These systems also eliminate the chance for harmful bacteria or pathogens to exist.
Our control systems pay attention to the details. All environmental control parameters are continuously monitored and kept in check.
Superior Fresh x Lumigrow
Superior Fresh is excited to collaborate with LumiGrow LED Grow Lights for our current greenhouse lighting and future expansions as well. The team at LumiGrow shares the same passion for growing this technology as we do - partnerships like this will benefit the community of sustainable agriculture as a whole.
All of our greens are 100% Organic. We obtained our first Organic certification in October of 2017, with additional audits taking place annually thereafter.
Food safety is the number one focus of our team and is built into every task on our farm. To show our commitment to safe produce, our greenhouse is SQF (Safe Quality Food) certified.